Democrat Jerry Brown reported Monday that he has $23 million in the bank in his race against former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman for California governor, an indication that he is choosing to save the bulk of his money for what is certain to be a costly fall election campaign.
His campaign reported it had raised slightly more than $2.6 million and spent nearly $131,000 during the most recent six-week reporting period, from May 23 to June 30. Monday was the reporting deadline for candidates, major donors and committees supporting and opposing ballot initiatives.
Whitman, a Republican, had not yet filed her report for the period but so far has given her campaign at least $91 million. She has said she expects to spend more than $150 million on her first bid for elective office.
Her spending alone comes close to what both candidates in the 2006 governor's race spent. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger spent more than $50 million over three years while Democratic challenger Phil Angelides spent almost $47 million.
Brown, the state's attorney general and former governor, raised $2.3 million from donors who gave $5,000 or more.
Among his high-profile donors were DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. founder Jeffrey Katzenberg, who gave Brown $13,800 in May, as did his wife, Marilyn. Publisher William Randolph Hearst III contributed $38,800 a week before the June 8 primary, when Brown faced no real opposition. His contribution covered the primary and general elections.
Whole Foods Inc. president Walter Robb gave Brown $20,809.
Brown's campaign has spent just $377,000 in cash so far this year, and has spent a total of $633,205 once donated services are included — a fraction of what Whitman spent during her contested GOP primary against state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner.
Campaign expenses covered by donors include $1,995 monthly rent of an apartment in Oakland used by Brown's Los Angeles campaign staff, as well as $600 in janitorial services for the main campaign office. Brown himself isn't collecting the $3,000 monthly rent for the loft he owns that he turned into his campaign headquarters.
While Whitman has a highly paid roster of Republican political consultants on staff, Brown's report showed just four employees during the period, in addition to campaign manager Steven Glazer. He was paid $30,000 during the six-week period.
Brown's tightfisted approach has worried some fellow Democrats who want him to respond to Whitman's attacks, but Brown has been getting help all summer from union-funded groups that have launched their own television and radio attacks against Whitman, a billionaire.
More than $600,000 of Brown's contributions during the six-week span came from unions representing firefighters, prison guards, law enforcement, physicians and other labor groups. Glazer said Brown raised an additional $1.1 million in July.
Three groups have formed independent expenditure committees to raise and spend money on Brown's behalf. California Working Families, a coalition of union groups that is airing TV and radio ads on Brown's behalf, raised $5.8 million in the six-week period, and spent nearly $4 million.
Level the Playing Field, which is a coalition of nurses, faculty and painters organizations, reported spending $64,249.32 in six weeks. A third group, Working Californians, has not yet filed its report.
The 85,000-member California Nurses Association also has staged rallies at Whitman campaign events and private fundraisers, parading an actress dressed as "Queen Meg."
Brown's other donors included California Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols, who gave $5,000, California NAACP president Alice Huffman and architect Frank Gehry.
Associated Press Writer Juliet Williams contributed to this report.
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